Just watched NOVA today. A good portrait of AE and his evolution of relativity.

Apparently he collaborated with a mathematician on the math he required and Hilbert coopted his ideas and tried to beat him.

At the end he went through four weeks of peer review presentations finding mistakes and correcting until he had the final theory.

What stood out to me was all he would have had was a slide rule, a mechanical calculator(they existed), and paper and pencil. His calculations that showed an accurate prediction of the orbit of Mercury were all done by hand. He made mistakes, some as simple as copying or writing down an equation incorrectly. Imagine if he had a simple 80s era programmable scientific calculator with a printer.

For those who want to see how science works from thought to equations to demonstrations watch the show. Nobody works in a vacuum. Trial and error is part of the process.

What was also interesting was a British scientist did the observation that showed mass deflects light. In the day it was a big deal, a British and German scientistcalaborating.